Offspring for the Asian elephants at Leipzig Zoo
Photo: Jan Woitas / dpa
His birth was actually only expected in the fourth quarter of this year - now an elephant cub was born prematurely at Leipzig Zoo.
The discovery of the elephant offspring on Sunday morning was a "big surprise," the zoo wrote in a press release.
Despite the premature birth, the male cub is doing well, the zoo said.
"The first few hours that we have now been able to observe make us optimistic," zoo director Jörg Junhold is quoted as saying.
The young bull is protected by the adult animals and has already eaten.
The elephant house in Leipzig will initially remain closed to visitors.
However, the newcomer should also be presented to the public in the coming days.
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For mother Pantha it is the first offspring.
She and four other Asian elephants were relocated from Berlin to Leipzig in 2020.
In this way, offspring of these animals, which are threatened with extinction, should be secured.
According to animal protection organizations, there were still around 41,000 to 52,000 Asian elephants worldwide at the last count in 2018, and the trend is decreasing.
The main reason for this is that the habitat of the elephants is being destroyed by humans.